B.C. takes timber construction to new heights

Can you imagine a wooden skyscraper? It’s not as far-fetched as you may think. And a growing number of architects, engineers and manufacturers in British Columbia are keen to prove it.

(NC) Can you imagine a wooden skyscraper? It’s not as far-fetched as you may think. And a growing number of architects, engineers and manufacturers in British Columbia are keen to prove it.

In fact, the University of British Columbia’s 18-storey Brock Commons Tallwood House is a testament to the vast possibilities of wood. When completed in 2017, it was the world’s tallest mass timber building, garnering international media attention.

The success of this project is giving rise to an increasing number of timber buildings in the province. Just late last year, 13 communities across B.C. — including Victoria, Kelowna and Surrey — made a pledge to be early adopters of mass-timber construction, with some projects already underway and many more in the proposal phase. This includes Canada Earth Tower, an ambitious 40-storey tower that, if completed, would once again make B.C. the global title holder of the tallest timber building.

It’s clear that wood construction is on the rise. Here are the top three advancements that are helping to put B.C. on the map when it comes to timber technology:

Engineered wood. Thanks to new manufacturing methods, nature’s oldest building material is being turned into an engineered material called mass timber. Mass timber is exceptionally strong, versatile, cost-effective, easy to assemble, durable, fire resistant, seismically safe and sustainable.

Building codes. Last year, the B.C. government encouraged municipalities to be early adopters to the new provisions in the 2020 National Building Code that allows for encapsulated mass timber construction up to 12 storeys. Other jurisdictions around the world, including China, are expected to follow suit.

Prefabrication. Off-site, prefabricated and modular construction continues to grow in popularity for its ability to save time and money. Wood offers several advantages when it comes to this more accurate factory-made approach from its ease to work with to its capacity for rapid, tight-fit and light-weight assemblies.

Learn more and find the B.C. forest products Supplier Directory at naturallywood.com.